Poole school head teacher among Dorset crash dead

Ally Mullany and floral tributes
Image caption Mrs Mullany had been head teacher at the school since joining in 2008

Flowers have been laid at the gates of a primary school whose head teacher was killed in a crash with a fire engine in Dorset.

Ally Mullany, head teacher of St Joseph's Catholic Combined School in Poole, died on the B3075, near Wareham, on Sunday.

In a statement on its website, the school was be closed on Monday as a mark of respect.

The fire engine had been responding to an earlier fatal accident nearby.

Mrs Mullany, a married mother of four, had been the school's head teacher since joining in 2008.

'Poorer without her'

Val Arbon, chairman of Poole Headteachers Association, paid tribute to her, saying she "was a force for life, an inspirational, positive and determined head teacher who was committed and deeply passionate about making a difference to the lives of children".

"She gave her time willingly to support education in Poole and found the time to contribute beyond the bounds of her own school.

"She inspired colleagues and friends to act, not just talk.

"She was always cheerful and enthusiastic and education will be the poorer for her loss."

Image caption The fire engine had been responding to an earlier crash

Chairman of governors Hugh Fogarty said: "We're just totally devastated. Ally has driven our school forward hugely in the last five years.

"Our challenge and her legacy will be to get the school to where she wanted to take it.

"We've closed the school today as a mark of respect and also for the staff to get their heads around the news before the children come back.

"There's no handbook out there for this kind of situation."

The fire engine was responding to an accident on the A35 at Morden Park Corner in which a man died.

It was in collision with Mrs Mullany's car, at about 08:10 BST.

Two other people suffered serious injuries in the second crash and were taken to Southampton General Hospital by Air Ambulance.

Dorset Police is continuing to appeal for witnesses to the two crashes.

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